Larry D. Noodén
Professor Emeritus

[LDN] Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, 2003-.
Assist. Prof., Assoc. Prof. - Professor, University of Michigan, 1965-2003.
Fulbright Senior Research Fellow at Australian National University, 1983.
NIH Special Research Fellow, CalTech, 1971-72.
NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 1964-65.
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1963.
M.Sc., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1959.
B.Sc., University of Illinois, Urbana, 1958.

Research Projects

Following my retirement on May 31, 2003, I have been working mainly on book writing, first on Plant Cell Death Processes (which has been completed) and thereafter on another dealing with whole plant longevity and senescence. The whole plant longevity book will essentially be an update of H. Molisch's book Die Lebensdauer der Pflanze (1928); however, it will extend to molecular biology, ecology and evolution, the how and why of longevity. The intervening years have brought enormous advances in our understanding of the physiology and more recently the molecular biology underlying these phenomnena; these will be integrated into the senescence and longevity context. In addition, it seems important to deal with their implications for plant yield/productivity.

During my earlier years, I investigated the mechanism of action of the hormone auxin and several synthetic plant growth regulators/herbicides. This led us into the study of chromosomal proteins, those proteins associated with DNA, because they were believed to regulate gene expression. Among other things, we found evidence that the histones did not play the specific regulatory role or perform some other functions they were believed to. During the late 1960s, we began to study whole plant (monocarpic) senescence, and in 1974, this became my primary research interest. Most of our early work dealt with monocarpic senescence in soybean, but later, we shifted to Arabidopsis. We began with examination of the correlative controls and used this information to study the hormonal controls, particularly cytokinin. We have also worked on several mutations that alter senescence. We used the information on correlative, hormonal and gene controls as tools to probe the biochemistry of monocarpic senescence. Because monocarpic senescence is tied to the repoductive structures in these plants and because of the yield implications, we also investigated the development of the reproductive structures.

Depending on progress with the plant longevity book, I plan to resume (hopefully in 2010) some limited teaching with a freshman seminar. This seminar course probably would deal with herbal medicines and nutrients, but it would emphasize the underlying science including the natural adaptive values of these plant constituents. Although this would be an outgrowth of my plant constituents course, it would also be a change in direction for me.

Eventually, I hope to resume some experimental projects dealing with plant senescence.

I am also engaged in a variety of conservation projects.

Selected Publications

See a list of selected publications


Biology EEB, MCDB,
Natural Science Bldg.
The University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048

Telephone: +1 (734) 764-4436 Fax: +1 (734) 763-0544 OR +1 (734) 647-0884 E-mail:

Also, see the Bio 154, Bio 201 Bio 230 Bio 275 and Bio 415 home pages and the plant biology tutorial.

This page last updated: 11 Jan 2009